We Need More New Homes

We Need More New Homes
The most sought product line in real estate in our region these days is the newly constructed home. As our markets deal with a new set of normal conditions - power outages, wildfires and requirements for a hardier housing stock meant to evolve with our climate - many are turning towards the future and placing greater value on newly designed homes that will help them live more comfortably and with less anxiety.
New houses come in so many different sizes with respect to not only the home itself but the lot dimensions and location as well. You will find an array of finishes and features from basic to unabashedly artsy and each property value is heavily influenced by the type of view or usability and privacy associated with the parcel it occupies.
According to BAREIS MLS, over the course of the last twelve months, we have seen 280 newly built homes sold in Sonoma County with an average living area of 2024 square feet - typically consisting of 3 bedrooms and 3 baths - translating to a value of $406 per square foot (psf), furthermore pegging the average price paid in Sonoma County for new construction at $879,857. The marketing periods for properly priced product has hovered around 78 days – though some of this time is typically attributed to construction still being in the waning phase of completion.
More specifically, when we consider the markets as segments the numbers get more meaningful as with properties trading under $1 million there have been 240 sales over the last year with the average abode bearing 1829 square feet – commonly configured as 3 bedrooms and 3 baths - representing a value proposition of $362psf along with an average price paid of $651,111. These homes are usually situated on lot sizes that range from 3,000 – 10,000 square feet and have been exhibiting marketing periods of 77 days.
Turning our attention to the upper end of our marketplace, there have been 40 sales of newly constructed homes since November 2018. The living areas within this class of properties has averaged 3227 square feet – usually offering 4 bedrooms and 4 full baths – showcasing a valuation of $674psf along with an average price paid of $2,252,338 and with the underlying dirt ranging in mass from .25 acre – 35 acres. With some of the more unique finishes and rhythms of delivery varying, this segment of new dwellings in Sonoma County has experienced marketing times averaging 89 days before finding their ultimate buyer.
Seemingly at one end of the spectrum it is business as usual with old floor plans, commonplace design, and tired finishes. While at the upper end we see more modern floor plans, forward thinking design that speaks to how we really want to live within our homes and innovative new accoutrements – some even on the bespoke level. Many buyers miss the finer details and are simply captivated by the “newness”, so before your wallet opens up, be sure that when you are hunting for your new place your eye can calibrate the difference.

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